Taking part in the ritual of herbal smoking, involves taking a moment for yourself, a mindful pause.
For centuries, herbal smoking has been a thread deeply woven into the fabric of cultures around the world, a form of communion between plants, their medicine and our breath.
I like to begin by connecting with the herbs: noticing their different textures, colors and scents. Then comes the ritual of breaking up the bigger pieces, the rolling, the packing, my hands know this dance and seem to move by themselves.
When fire comes into play, we're in the presence of a different kind of magic. Now the breath slows down, this allows me to savor the blend and watch it evolve.
The transformation of plants into smoke and ash when experienced through our body, resonates with us at an emotional and physical level.
Smoke carries plant medicine into our body faster than when we ingest it (as a tea or tincture, for example), and the effect is almost immediate.
Of course every body and experience is different, but smoking herbs can ease and balance stress, support sleep, and also boost our mood. Taking a mindful pause can also help us be present with discomfort, acknowledge how we feel even when we don’t feel good, and eventually show up with a fresh perspective.
There’s a lot of thought and care put into each blend, so you can feel comfortable enjoying them!
Focusing on our breath is a helpful first step to manage anxiety: by being more present in the moment, our mind is free of the worries of the future and the regrets of the past.
“Breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts. Whenever your mind becomes scattered, use your breath as the means to take hold of your mind again.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh
* Smoke is smoke so be mindful, herbal smoking is meant for ritual / recreational use, and to help those in the process of quitting tobacco.
Photos: Ray Neil and Meagan Jarvi by Madeline Harpell
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